Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mallard and the Supremes

Trevor Mallard, the Governmental Bruiser, has attacked the Supreme Court by saying that it was a pity they had not been appointed on merit. Factually Trevor is correct in his observation about the appointment process (the Chief Justice and the then Appeal Court were simply promoted) but politically he shouldn't be doing this. The previous disputes were caused by ill-considered comments by the Chief Justice but neither she nor anybody else has done anything to upset the government within the past two weeks. So why the attack?

Margaret Wilson has rushed in to heal the breach saying that the Judges were appointed on merit because Judges did not become Senior Appeal Judges without ability. That's certainly true for the Court of Appeal Justices but it doesn't explain the Chief Justice who has never sat on the Court of Appeal. So Margaret has once again managed to pour petrol on troubled waters but so far she hasn't lit a match (as she did when well-intentionally comparing the Chief Justice to a union steward). But we are still no closer to understanding what the cause of the attack was. Is the Chief Justice still making trouble? If so, she is to be commended for keeping it out of the papers and so should be repaid for not having public attacks made upon her.

Incidentally Trevor made the comments under the Chatham House rules (although he was said to have waived it) but he can't be contacted for comment because he is now in the Chatham Islands. Coincidence?